Saturday, November 12, 2011
I'm glad . So is Wilf .
The ceremony is due to start at 11.15 but the mayor has mislaid the official speech sent by the prefecture . His wife fusses and hauls it out of the inside pocket of his blazer . He shrugs his shoulders, smiles sheepishly and sighs. She straightens his tie . We start at 11.20.
Three village toddlers , holding hands , lay a wreath . Underwhelmed , the littlest one sits on the memorials bottom step , finger in mouth, chuckling happily . A harried mother picks her up and tucks her , uncomplaining , under an arm . The mayor reads his speech .
The little lady in the purple hat sings the Marseillaise with a tenderness that makes it more a ballad to a lost love than a martial air . The deputy mayoress dabs her eyes. Our third Armistice Day ceremony in the little village . As we walk home I turn to ' the font ' and say " I'm glad we moved here ".
Wilf seems to agree . On our evening walk he turns on his back and falls sound asleep in the middle of the road . He's soon snoring . I phone ' the font ' to bring out the car and collect us .